A Tauranga woman did not stop to think about the dangers of the cold water or swift current when she dived in to save a young boy on a bike who veered off a walkway and into the estuary.

Jade Hurford was walking along the Waikareao Estuary towards 11th Ave with her son when she saw a young boy, possibly 4 or 5, hurtling downhill on his bike.

"The little man came down off the bridge and his bike veered to the right and he went straight into the water," Hurford said.

"I started running as soon as I saw him heading towards the water. His mum was still on the bridge."

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Hurford jumped into the water.

"I grabbed him from behind. He was quite heavy because he was fully clothed, with a helmet, jacket, camo pants and high-top shoes.

"I didn't realise how swift the current was. I was thinking I've got to be quick to get him out or we're both going to go.

"Another woman was on the rocks. She grabbed him off me. She was struggling to lift him up.

"It took the three of us to pull him out."

She remembered seeing the boy's head bobbing in the water.

"He was kicking himself to try and keep up, but I could tell he was struggling. He probably bobbed up and down four or five times before I managed to get in the water. He was going down so only his helmet was visible."

Hurford said she, the other woman and the boy's mother started stripping the wet clothes off him to help him warm up.

"I helped the mum, who was very distressed, and the boy who, by then, had realised he had a close call.

"He did seem okay, he was quite responsive. I don't think he took on too much water."

The other woman at the scene on Saturday managed to get the boy's bike out of the water, even though the mother was telling her not to worry about it.

Hurford gave the mum a hug and was thanked profusely.

The mum called her partner and the duo were quickly collected.

Hurford, also cold and wet, moved on without grabbing any contact details and hopes to track down the mother and son to see how they are doing. The "cute wee guy" was called Charlie and had dark brown hair.

"I'm so glad we managed to get him out ... At the end of the day, anyone would have done it."